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Shenandoah Valley Church Leaders Lead Unity Walk in Staunton

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The Unity Walk, held in Staunton The Unity Walk, held in Staunton
Churches across the Shenandoah Valley took part Churches across the Shenandoah Valley took part
There will be a similar event held in Charlottesville next month There will be a similar event held in Charlottesville next month
STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) -

In response to this summer's violence in Charlottesville and other acts of hate across the nation, a group of church leaders in the Shenandoah Valley is calling for love and unity.

That message of love and unity did not go unheard or unseen on Saturday, November 11, in Staunton.

People from all over the valley came together in Staunton to unite and spread the message that love wins.

A call for repentance, unity, and healing are all major prayer points for church leaders in the Shenandoah Valley.

“Through recent events that we have been faced as a nation, from what took place in Charlottesville, and around this nation, the church needed to give some type of response,” says Roger West, pastor at Convergence Church.

Church leaders say the appropriate response is love.

“We don't deal with hatred, we deal with love in the church, and racism is really out of the picture for us,” says Theadore Payne, bishop at Oak Grove Baptist Restoration Ministries. “So we want to see that go just not in our church, but over the whole community and over the nation.”

After standing together in prayer, the clergy led community members on a unity walk through downtown Staunton.

“My hope is that walls that have been built up for years would be broken down, and that within our churches there will be a new message, a message of love, a message of prayer, and a message of people,” says West.

They have a goal of bringing together all church and community leaders to discuss the tough topics that are often hard for people to talk about.

“Some things we kind of shuffle around and don’t want to mention, but we need to sit down together and really talk about what's really burdening the hearts of the people,” says Payne. “And that's what I'm looking forward to doing after this.”

Clergy members say a similar walk called "Time of Prayer" will be held in Charlottesville on Saturday, December 2.

Organizers say the goal is to pray together and walk to the center of the city.